Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tab Clearing...

  • Silicon Graybeard points out that, even though fantasies of running around in the woods, yelling "Wolverines!" and shooting at foreign-speaking invaders are a lot more appealing to some people than another Monday morning in the cubicle farm, you might want to make sure that your colander is dress-code compliant.

  • Our buddy Keads gets a moment on the magic talking picture box! In a favorable story about firearms and self-defense, no less!

  • Look, I am foursquare against helmet laws. But don't try and justify* not wearing one by buying into bogus theories that they're somehow more dangerous or something. They're not. (A well-designed, properly-fitting full-face helmet will not restrict your vision, will let you hear better at freeway speeds by eliminating the turbulence around your ears, and is more aerodynamic than your own natural grape, so don't give me that "caught in a gust of wind" crap.) Nut up and be a grownup and say "I'm a big girl and can take the added risk to feel the wind in my hair if I want to, so piss off, Nanny State."
*Incidentally, this is one of my biggest gripes about wading into fact- and data-laden poo-flinging arguments with anti-gunners about crime rates and murders-per-100k and so forth. The correct answer is "Where the hell do you get off thinking you can tell me I can't own a gun? I don't care if every other gun owner on the planet went out and murdered somebody last night. I didn't. So piss off."


Anonymous said...

Aaahhh, there's just something about a woman with a gun...*sigh*...

Agreed on the helmet thing. The nanny state is completely out of line on yet another item, however I--being an ex-rider--always wore a "skid lid" and believed--and still do--that those who refuse to wear one are fools; however this is the United States of America and they have the constitutionally protected right to be fools!

cap'n chumbucket

Anonymous said...

I oppose both helmet laws and seatbelt laws for those over 18.

If you are old enough to vote, surely you are old enough to make that decision for yourself.

Under that age, I have no problem with the law.

That having been said I think you are a damned fool not to wear them, but Freedom allows you to be a damn fool.
Dennis the librarian shusher

Tam said...

cap'n chumbucket,

"those who refuse to wear one are fools"

I don't think they're fools; I just think they're comfortable with a higher level of risk than I am.

A state that allows free-climbing a cliff without ropes or a helmet but mandates a brain bucket to ride a bike is exercising the finest kind of hypocrisy. They have as much standing to legislate wearing your galoshes when it's raining.

Tam said...

Remember: To the driver of the Volvo, you're a fool for getting on the motorcycle in the first place, helmet or no.

Weer'd Beard said...

As for the footnote, I feel the same with with the Medical Marijuana.

I'm of the mindset that we should cell Heroin at the corner pharmacy, as it would cause issues, but none different than ninjas kicking down doors and killing innocent people because they heard that maybe there might kinda be maybe some white powder in the house, and a busted junkie told them so.

Still I hate seeing people parading out "science" that makes the VPC "research" look sound and ethical, as well as bringing out chemo patients with hair loss to tug on heart strings.

Yes marijuana has therapeutic uses, so does heroin, opium, tobacco, and blueberries. That doesn't make them "Medicine", nor does it fool me for a second that you're bullshitting people because you want to tell your doctor sometimes you feel depressed so you can get high free-and-clear of the law.

Grrrrr, get off my side!

fast richard said...

It's been a long time since I went helmet shopping, but it seemed to me that well-designed, properly-fitting full-face helmets were about as common as unicorn farts. Maybe I have an oddly shaped head, but I never found one that fit snuggly enough to be of any use, but that I could get on and off, and wear my glasses.

perlhaqr said...

so don't give me that "caught in a gust of wind" crap.

See, there's the problem. You're referring to "A well-designed, properly-fitting full-face helmet", and the precise quote from the article was "a strong wind caught underneath the rim of their DOT helmet to act like a parachute".

You were presuming that if she was wearing a helmet, it was a real helmet, and instead she's referring to some ridiculous "bare minimum of the law" beanie helmet, which, yes, quite possibly could catch the wind, since they have that stupid 2 inch lip running around the edge of the bowl.

I dunno, hard to argue it with her without looking like I'm defending the stupid law, but all the problems she's talking about are caused by her choice of equipment to skate the edge of compliance with it.

I guess the short version of my story is: It's not their place to mandate helmets, but if they are going to violate your rights by doing so, don't add to your problems by selecting crappy equipment just to have the frisson of being just barely compliant.

perlhaqr said...

Bah. Too early in the morning. I shouldn't have said "You were presuming", but rather, "Your statement seems to presume". Apologies.

DaveFla said...

Fast richard: back in 2008, and after having ridden a manufacturer's track day at Mid Ohio in a lid one size too large, I gave up and spent the $400 it took to buy a (solid color, low-end!) Shoei. The occasion was an open house at a dealership, and the professional rep helped me with sizing the shell and the inserts. It's been quieter, more comfortable and generally worth every cent, although my cheaper lids still seem to fog less... YMMV.

Tam said...


True. I should have specified that I was referring to the argument in general, which was first given by somebody twenty years ago while I was strapping on my Shoei. "A gust of wind'll catch that thing and you'll wreck!"

Even a nice, well-made DOT/Snell-compliant open-face helmet can catch a gust under the brim; I have no idea why someone would wear one instead of a full-face, but it's a free country.

MauserMedic said...

No helmet for riding around in town/back roads; it's just more enjoyable, much like the evil cigars, whiskey, and pizza I enjoy. Half-helmet for mandatory wear-states under the same riding conditions; full-face helmet with hinged front (allowing removal/donning of helmet with glasses on), foam ear plugs, leather jacket/chaps/gloves/boots on the interstate for that small margin of protection and comfort if the bike goes down and I'm in for a long slide.

I'll make my own risk assessments, thank you.

Bubblehead Les. said...

RE SG: So if the U.S. goes Argentina, so what? The Goblins will still need to be shot, the Oligarchy will still drive it into the Ground, and then THEY'LL need to be shot. I'd still stock up on "Beans, Bullets and Band Aids". Look at all those people in Libya and how they've been living for the last 6 months or so. Much more probable than Cuban Infantry marching down Main Street.

Mr Evilwrench said...

I started wearing my seatbelt long before the law came into effect, because I was riding around with a maniac driving when I drove. I've settled down a lot since then, but I still wear it. I had to special order a 3X helmet for my scooter because of my huge head, and it's still tight. My girlfriend at the time would not let me out without it.

Jim said...


You told Mommie Dotgov to piss off about helmets. Then you did it again about guns.

I'm hip, and if you decide to form a new political movment called NPOP, the National Piss Off Party, I'll send a check.

Joanna said...

In my experience, a good chunk of the "Oh My Cheese teh zombies are coming!" types are actually hoping for Mom and Dad to leave for the weekend so they can stay up and eat junk food and watch scary movies.

Me, I'm setting up for my life as-is, with increased interruptions and higher-stakes annoyances. I predict a sliding scale of collapse with Japan at one end and Argentina at the other; geographic location will likely determine where ones' experience falls on the scale.

Guffaw in AZ said...

Re: your statement following the asterisk: AMEN!

Anonymous said...

I love reading Tam after a visit to the dentist.

More trips to the dentist! Please!

Firehand said...

Richard, I couldn't find a full-face helmet my glasses would fit under; then one day tried a HJC Symax, one of the hinged-chinbar types, and it fit perfectly. If haven't tried one of the modular styles, ought to check them out.

Replaced that one with a HJC IS-Max, which has a spot in each side for your Bluetooth. Which I don't have, but it fit right and was on sale, so...

Also, check sizes. Even in the same brand they seem to vary; in the first helmet above I wore a XL, on the IS-Max a XXL, and I'm sure my head didn't expand in the few days between.

NotClauswitz said...

At 110 mph, long hair twirling around in the gentle breeze can get in a terrible freaking mess that requires scissors, and can yank your head around and dislodge your glasses. I prefer a helmet when I had hair, and still do today.
God, I miss riding like that, except for the speeding tickets.

Drang said...

The anti-helmet argument that always baffled me was that, if/when you did dump your bike, a helmet would snap your neck. Seems to me that, if you hit that hard, in the absence of a helmet your skull would do a creditable impersonation of an egg shell...

NotClauswitz said...

Even a full-face helmet is a bit of a compromise if you fail to negotiate a turn and while skidding off the road hit something like a snow-pole with the face-shield part.
But at least the thickness of the eye-port will prevent the snow-pole from removing the top-half of your head, and with a helicopter landing in the mountains you will live to have good facial reconstructive surgery and not even look like the elephant-man afterwards. I was the guy who rode a mile down to the closest house and called the helicopter. And I still miss riding...

Angus McThag said...

Nothing makes the local TV reporter's brain melt faster than showing up to a "Let Those Who Ride Decide" rally wearing a helmet. They wanna talk to the person who's in the helmet, and can't process that you support those who don't want to.

As far as the personal risk assessment goes; I sold my scoot when it seemed that grandma in her Crown Vic was aiming for me. Helmet doesn't seem like it would help much against 4,000 lbs running a light and t-boning you at 55. I think if I moved out of Florida, I might take up riding again.

Anonymous said...

FastRichard and Firehand:

I've been wearing full-coverage helmets with glasses since I started riding, which was back in the day when it was actually illegal to wear a full-coverage Bellstar helmet on the street. I bought one of the original Bellstars, and even with their tiny little view hole (in comparison to today's nearly panoramic window holes), it was never a problem wearing glasses. That included a fairly entertaining stint as a motorcycle roadracer in southern California.

It's unlikely nobody explained how to put a helmet on while wearing glasses, but on the off-chance that's the case, here's the procedure.

1) remove glasses
2) put helmet on
3) fasten chin-strap
4) open face shield
5) open glasses ear-pieces fully
6) slide earpieces in along sides of head
7) adjust glasses on face
8) close face shield

To remove helmet, open face shield, remove glasses, then remove helmet.

Spend the time to look for a good helmet. Get it properly fitted by someone who knows what they're doing. A good rule of thumb is that if you move the helmet with your hands, your skin should move with it, but not to the point of cutting off circulation.


Anonymous said...


On anti-fogging - there are several anti-fogging compounds out there which will help. I've used three, and of the three, the best was a crayon-like substance called Crystal-Brite which I got at a county fair. I haven't seen it before or since.

Another class of anti-fogging products are those that are used in boating/diving on boat windows, dive masks, etc.

I believe several of the helmet manufacturers have also marketed anti-fogging compounds at one time or another.


Anonymous said...

It is important to understand what a motorcycle helmet can and can not do to protect you.

The best (full-coverage) helmet in the world can only protect you in a direct impact with a solid object up to about 22 mph (not a typo). So-called 3/4 coverage and pudding basin helmets don't even do that well, and have the added disadvantage of not protecting your face (and since I happen to like my face just the way it is, I wear a full-coverage helmet).

That said, many professional roadracers have survived falls at over 150 mph and survived quite handily with no head injuries whatsoever while wearing full-coverage helmets. I have stepped off my own racer on pavement three times at over 100 mph without so much as a headache, the only real injury being to my pride. The key is not to hit any solid objects, like curbs, trees, poles, buildings, or other vehicles.

What helmets can and do regularly and repeatedly is to keep one from grinding away bits that are important to the continued functioning of one's brain, and in this respect, they do a spectacular job. They also minimize concussions and make it easy to look in the mirror in the morning. :-)


Anonymous said...

. . . and while I'm shilling for using full-coverage helmets while riding motorbikes, I might as well put in a plug for another of my favorite forms of protection, earplugs.

Little foam squishy earplugs. The kind you can buy at the drugstore in single packets, or by the dozen.

They are all pretty good, but after trying several brands, I've settled on the orange pre-shaped Howard Leight MAX earplugs, which I buy in a box of 200 pair at the local safety and supply store. The last 200 pair box I got was just over $30, so they're cheap too. They have a noise reduction rating of 33 dB, which is the best you can get without going the custom-fitted plug route, and are even better than a lot of those.

Even better, you can use them at the range, while using power tools, lawnmowers, weedeaters, and any other one of the noisy contrivances that make life so much more convenient.


Spud said...

Those that don't wear helmets have most likely never crashed at speed.
Or...they aren't here to present their argument.
Having broken a few helmets, you know which side I come down on, LOL

Still, don't need someone telling me ta wear one !

Laughingdog said...

First, don't waste time on anti-fogging compounds. There are much better options out there.

If it will fit your helmet, the Respro Foggy Mask is a great option.

If not, Shoei makes an anti-fogging face shield that works with their pinlock visors. There are also adhesive brands, though I've had better luck getting a good seal with the pinlocks.

Second, while in theory, I agree with revoking helmet laws. But the only way I'd agree in reality is if they'd follow through completely and leave anyone that was crippled or a vegetable from not wearing one to either be cared for by their family or left to die. They knew there was an increased chance of death, so by God let them have it. Tax dollars shouldn't be used to care for them because of their poor judgement.

Anonymous said...

I do not ride a motorcycle, but in a day's commute I encounter enough big bugs that spatter on the windshield at freeway speeds and new chips from sizable gravels tossed up by the wheels of vehicles in front of me that I can't imagine going down the Interstate at 70+ MPH (as we all know, the prevailing speed is normally 15+ MPH above the posted speed) with nothing between my naked face and eyes and all this flying insect life and debris but my beard stubble.

Of course, people own themselves and can so far as I care people can do whatever they want, so long as it doesn't affect me directly and they don't try to stick me with the bill afterwards.

Gewehr98 said...

McThag, the blue-hairs in Florida scared me off my scoot back in 2004. I'd taken to calling Cadillacs "Cataracts" thanks to their persistent desire to merge with me sans any warning.

My Harley still sits in the corner of the garage, under a tarp, ever since I moved it here to Wisconsin in 2005. I should just plain sell it, but something inside says I'll put my helmet on someday and ride again.

Full-face helmets are great when folks ahead of you decide to flick their still-glowing cigarette butts out the window. Sometimes they hit you in the faceshield, sometimes they hit you in the chest. Someday I'm gonna retrieve one, pass them, and throw it back into their open driver's window...